\ ˈsēk How to pronounce seek (audio) \
sought\ ˈsȯt How to pronounce sought (audio) \; seeking

Definition of seek

transitive verb

1 : to resort to : go to
2a : to go in search of : look for
b : to try to discover
3 : to ask for : request seeks advice
4 : to try to acquire or gain : aim at seek fame
5 : to make an attempt : try used with to and an infinitivegovernments … seek to keep the bulk of their people contented— D. M. Potter

intransitive verb

1 : to make a search or inquiry
2a : to be sought
b : to be lacking in critical judgment … they were sadly to seekThe Times Literary Supplement (London)

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Other Words from seek

seeker noun

Choose the Right Synonym for seek

seek, search, and hunt mean to look for something. seek may be used in looking for either material or mental things. She's always seeking new friends. I seek the truth. search is used when looking for something in a very careful, thorough way. We searched all over the house for the letter. hunt is used for a long pursuit. I hunted all day for the right present.

Examples of seek in a Sentence

The office is seeking a salesperson. The prince is seeking a wife. Snakes seek the sun to warm their bodies. You should visit your doctor and seek his advice. You should seek medical help immediately if you experience any chest pain or shortness of breath. The church is seeking donations. He sought revenge for his son's murder. During the war, she sought asylum in Spain. They sought refuge in Canada. The company is seeking new ways to improve service.
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Recent Examples on the Web Immediately after the judgment, Stewart Nance said the family had no plans to develop the property and would seek to sell it. Bill Bowden, Arkansas Online, "Theme park owner out, bless his heart," 8 Dec. 2019 The president has showered the court with emergency filings, seeking stays and stay extensions while preparing a petition for high court review. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "The Supreme Court grants Trump’s emergency stay in financial records case," 7 Dec. 2019 Democrats have long sought to provide additional benefits to the government's 2.1 million workers and paid family leave for new parents and became a key issue pushed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. David Jackson, USA TODAY, "Congress reaches tentative agreement giving federal workers paid family leave, creating Space Force," 7 Dec. 2019 Mayor Rex Hardin said the City Attorney’s Office is seeking reimbursement from the contractor’s insurance company and said the city expects to be fully reimbursed for its costs. Larry Barszewski,, "Massive sewage spill leads to $200,000 in fines and a river of doubts," 7 Dec. 2019 In just 10 generations, Belyaev's lineage of foxes became tame, seeking attention from people and wagging their tails when scientists approached. Jason Bittel,, "Tame foxes taught us about animal domestication. But did we get the story wrong?," 6 Dec. 2019 In his weekly sermon last week, al-Sistani warned of enemies seeking to sow strife and called on protesters to cast away those with ill intentions., "Parliament was scheduled to meet Thursday to amend laws governing compensation to include victims of security operations and vote on changes to the structure of Iraq’s electoral commission, the body that oversees polls across the country, according to two lawmakers in attendance.," 5 Dec. 2019 In his weekly sermon last week, al-Sistani warned of enemies seeking to sow strife and called on protesters to cast away those with ill intentions. Washington Post, "Fears rise as at least 13 stabbed in Baghdad square," 5 Dec. 2019 Rivera did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment from The Associated Press. Steve Reed, The Denver Post, "Carolina Panthers fire head coach Ron Rivera," 3 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'seek.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of seek

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for seek

Middle English seken, from Old English sēcan; akin to Old High German suohhen to seek, Latin sagus prophetic, Greek hēgeisthai to lead

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Time Traveler for seek

Time Traveler

The first known use of seek was before the 12th century

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Statistics for seek

Last Updated

11 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Seek.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 15 December 2019.

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More Definitions for seek


How to pronounce seek (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of seek

somewhat formal
: to search for (someone or something) : to try to find (someone or something)
: to ask for (help, advice, etc.)
: to try to get or achieve (something)


\ ˈsēk How to pronounce seek (audio) \
sought\ ˈsȯt \; seeking

Kids Definition of seek

1 : to try to find seek help … foxes called to each other, seeking again their lifelong mates.— Jean Craighead George, My Side of the Mountain
2 : to try to win or get He sought revenge.
3 : to make an attempt Doctors are seeking to find a cure.

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More from Merriam-Webster on seek

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for seek

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with seek

Spanish Central: Translation of seek

Nglish: Translation of seek for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of seek for Arabic Speakers

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delight or enjoyment

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